- German investor confidence declines
- UK inflation drops
- Empire State manufacturing index falls
- Fed discusses banking rules
FTSE 100: 0.99%
CAC 40: -0.10%
FTSE MIB: 0.09%
IBEX 35: -0.75%
Stoxx 600: 0.01%
European stocks were mixed as investors weighed reports on German investor confidence and UK inflation.
The ZEW Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, dropped to 55.7 in February from 61.7 in January, after reaching a seven-year high of 62 in December. Economists had predicted a reading of 61.5.
The slump came despite German economic growth of 0.4% in the fourth quarter which exceeded analysts' expectations.
ZEW also released the Eurozone economic sentiment index for February which dipped to 68.5 from 73.3. Analysts had expected it to rise to 73.9.
The report may add pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to consider changing its monetary policy to spur the bloc's recovery when it meets next month.
In the UK, consumer prices gained 1.9% year-on-year in January, down from the previous month's 2%, according to the latest data available from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It surprised analysts who had expected inflation to remain at the Bank of England's 2% target.
The fall in likely to back the BoE's intention to keep interest rates low, according to Alpari UK analyst Craig Erlam.
"While this is negative for sterling, it is very good for the UK economy as it means there's less chance of the recovery being choked off by a premature rate hike and it continues to close the gap between wage growth and the cost of living," he said.
The Empire State manufacturing index, which gauges manufacturing activity in New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut, plunged to 4.48 from 12.5 in January. Economists had predicted a drop to 9.0.
The National Association of Home Builders' housing market index, which asks survey respondents to rate market conditions for new home sales, dropped to 46 in February from 56 in a month earlier. Analysts had expected it to remain unchanged.
Later on after the market closes, the Fed will hold an open board meeting to finalise new regulatory rules for banks. Banks are expected to face tighter capital requirements under the regulation.
InterContinental Hotels Group was lower as the hotel operator said renovation costs will hurt this year's earnings.
Hochtief rallied as Goldman Sachs raised the German builder to 'buy' from 'neutral'.
Inditex declined after Citigroup downgraded the retailer to 'neutral' from 'buy'.
BHP Billiton gained after the world's biggest mining company posted first-half profit that beat analysts' forecasts.
Centrica fell as UBS lowered its recommendation on the UK energy supplier to 'sell' from 'neutral'.
Casino Guichard-Perrachon advanced after reporting an 18% jump in 2013 earnings.
Pandora climbed as the Danish jeweller reported fourth-quarter income that surpassed market expectations.
Alstom was down following reports the French government has appointed consultants to study the train and power-equipment maker's market position and its strategic options.
The euro rose 0.34% to $1.3754.
Brent crude futures bumped up $0.682 to $109.930 per barrel, according to ICE data.